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Anaconda, a new Python distribution

At the end of the Fall semester a change is planned for the default Python installation. It will be replaced by Anaconda, a distribution of Python that includes over 200 popular Python packages used throughout scientific computing. Some of these packages include h5py, mpi4py, netcdf, numpy, scikit, and scipy.

What is changing?

The default Python module will be changing from a vanilla Python 2.7 installation to an Anaconda Python distribution that also provides Python 2.7. If you are invoking default (i.e. not explicitly versioned) Python by 'module load python', you will see the matching version of Anaconda instead. As the base version of the Python interpreter is not changing, you should not notice any changes with your existing Python scripts. However, with Anaconda you will now be able to import nearly 200 different packages into your Python scripts without any additional work or the need to submit a help ticket. An informational notice will be printed to your screen or job output if you will be affected by the switch.

If you load a specific version of Python, such as 'python/2.7.2', nothing will change.

Can I keep using plain Python?

If you are currently issuing 'module load python' and wish to continue using a vanilla Python distribution, you may do so by changing your job scripts to 'module load python/2.7.2' or any other explicit version. Specific versions of Python are not changing.

Can I use Anaconda with Python 3?

Yes, absolutely. Several other versions of Anaconda using Python 2 and 3 are available on the clusters. To see the available versions and modules type 'module avail anaconda'.

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